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Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: 'Cryer's Cross'

©2011 All Rights Reserved CompuServe Books Reviews

By Lisa McMann
YA Horror thriller
February 2011
Simon's Pulse
ISBN: 978-1416994817

Life for Kendall Fletcher is a very specific, very controlled routine. It's the only way she can function with her OCD ready to spin out of control with any change to that. But life is not going to remain quiet in her tiny hometown of Cryer's Cross, Montana, after classmate Tiffany Quinn disappears.

Months later, Tiffany has not been forgotten but life does go on. Summer is over and school is starting back up. The one-room high school class, divided by sections into year, has a larger enrollment when a brother and sister arrive. Jacian and Marlena have come to town with their parents to help their aging grandfather. Jacian is very surly, as befits a dark romantic hero, leaving his girlfriend and great soccer team behind.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

#mmge Middlemarch Prelude - Chapter 3

These are raw notes recording passages I found worth pondering and my ideas through a Twitter group read of George Eliot's masterpiece Middlemarch. To follow group tweets, we're using the hashtag #mmge for Middlemarch George Eliot.

Here's what I noted in the Prelude and first three chapters:

The grand Victorian look at a small town, people living down foolish impulses and stubborness, George Eliot's Middlemarch, begins with a prelude that has always struck me as unusual. A Victorian author living in sin begins her masterpiece writing about Saint Theresa of Avila. Whatever for?

Well, it does make sense when the saint's life is viewed through the particular lens Eliot employs. What if a person wanted to live a life she deemed worth living, carrying a torch for lofty ideals and ready to sacrifice the rewards of everyday life if it means becoming the foundation, the means by which a great goal is attained? What if all that yearning was for naught, if there was no lofty boulevard, only side streets and dead ends on the way to glory?

That's our heroine, Dorothea.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 'When Tito Loved Clara'

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page

Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

That is the way things stayed until high school, when in a process as mysterious and unmeasurable as the growth of fingernails, she re-emerged from the general population of girls to become, first, a girl and, then, the girl. ... Between classes he looked for her, and when she did appear from the throngs in the halls, he trailed behind her, floating in the wake of her smell -- of gardenias and candy -- like a cartoon character following the scent of a freshly baked pie.

-- "When Tito Loved Clara" by Jon Michaud, coming in March from Algonquin Books, page 31

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's #fridayreads time again

One of the most surprising things I've learned about Twitter is what a wonderful community builder it actually is -- in just months I've become a member of several communities with fun, fascinating people accomplished in the areas of society and culture I'm interested in.

Among the best is the amazing book community. It is erudite, welcome, goofy and diverse. It's easy to be involved too. Start with #fridayreads -- the "what are you reading?" tweets about books, audiobooks, magazines, cereal boxes, you name it. If you're reading it, tweet it and include the hashtag #fridayreads to be part of the wonderful @bookmaven weekend starter. There are prizes, and I've been fortunate enough to win one, but what's really rewarding is that #fridayreads is not snobbish anywhere on the genre/lit fiction spectrum and that it dramatically demonstrates that there are people who still love reading for its own sake.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Review: 'A Lonely Death'

By Charles Todd
January 2011
William Morrow
ISBN: 978-0-172619-4

One by one, WWI veterans in a small village are murdered. Alone in the wee hours of the morning as farmers or brewers, they are garrotted with the identity disc of a soldier left in their mouths. The names on the discs are not theirs. Why are they being targeted? Why are other men's names placed in their mouths? Was there anything that happened during the war that led to being murdered afterward? Or before that, when they were all lads in the village?

Haunted Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge gets the case, although not everyone on the scene or at the Yard wants him there. As always, Rutledge also is dealing with the voice of Hamish, a man he admired who he had shot for desertion during the Great War. And he is dealing not only with Hamish, but also with the knowledge that he has strong feelings for a woman who may or may not care for him. A retiring superior leaves him with an unsolved mystery that Rutledge also cannot let go of. There are the usual attempts from his enemies at Scotland Yard and other prickly police that not only get in his way from investigating, but also land Rutledge in deep trouble.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review & Giveaway: 'Bonded by Blood'

By Laurie London
Paranormal romance
February 2011
HQN Books
ISBN: 978-0373775446

When Mackenzie Foster-Shaw spots an odd clump of leaves in a country cemetary while out photographing possible film location sites in the Seattle area, she is about to have her life changed in radical ways.

Hiding in those leaves after suffering a gunshot wound is Dominic Serranto. He's not only a powerful vampire, he's also a take-no-prisoners Guardian in an endless battle against those of his kind who prey on humans.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Impressions: 'Jane Eyre' Post 1

Because it is one of those touchstone books in my life, I've joined the Jane Eyre Readathon at Laura's Review Bookshelf: Jane Eyre Check in #1 to see if feelings have changed over the years. As a young teen, this was the first swoon-worthy novel I'd found. But with the passage of (a great deal) of time, would I feel the same?